Tutorial: The 12 Parsecs Dress

By ari - September 24, 2013

Bringing home a tutorial I wrote for my girls the Shaffer Sisters in their Make for Mom celebration!

I decided to write a tutorial for a dress I made myself 2 years ago. I am a big fan of cutting up oversized tees and making them cute and wearable, and I often snag the $10 shirts from places like ShirtWoot and TeeFury  IE lots of geeky shirts, so today I am going to show you how to turn two shirts in to this!

Alright so you are clearly going to need two shirts. One a shirt that fits you pretty well and the second can be anything you want, as long as it isn't smaller than the first tee. I used an over-sized tee I bought from Ript Apparel. {It's a nod to Han Solo's quote in Star Wars: A New Hope: "You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!"}

Turn your first shirt {let's call this the main shirt} inside out and find the centre front. I marked mine with a pin. I used a pencil and drew a sweetheart neckline shape on one half of the shirt.

Fold the shirt in half and cut one cm above that line {you can eyeball it or trace the seam allowance first if you need to!}. When you get to the armpit, cut a straight line across the back of the shirt. You're going to be keeping the top half of the shirt for the dress, but the bottom half will become a pattern for the second piece.

Grab your second shirt. A graphic tee works excellent for this, but you can do a different coloured tee and have a cute colour-blocking effect going on. Fold the tee in half.

Place the lower section of the main tee over your second tee. Cut along the top of the shirt, leaving 1cm for seam allowance. Cut down the side of the shirt leaving 1cm for seam allowance. I kept the existing length of the second tee for a tunic-dress.

Do the same for the back piece - which is basically a big rectangle.

Right sides together, stitch the second shirt together at the sides.

Now here is the fun and tricky part! Place the main shirt inside the second shirt, right sides together. Pin the back pieces together first, matching side-seams.

Pin the centre fronts together. You can't see it very well in the below photo {Sorry!} but the centre of the white tee does jut up past the dip of the black tee.

Pin the centre of the curves together. This part is tricky because the white tee will dip while the black tee rises up but just go with it.

Now pin everywhere in between. Trust me, the more you pin this section the easier it will be!

If your machine has this stretch-knit stitch {#3}, flick it to that. Otherwise a regular zig-zag stitch will be fine :). Stitch around the shirt, attaching the white and the black tees together. It gets a little trickier around the centre front, so if you are having trouble, switch your machine to the straight stitch {regular stitch} and do like three cm before and after the dip with that.

Flip it the right way out, iron it, and then topstitch the seam with a zigzag stitch to keep it nice and flat looking.


  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. so cute! I've got an ill fitting Han shirt that could use a spiffing up. My kids love when I wear it but it aint so cute

  2. Cute dress. Despicable use of the word parsec, but that's not your fault. sorry for the mini-rant.


I love comments!